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Source: Auckland Council

Aucklanders seeking help to preserve and enhance privately owned heritage places in local communities across the city will soon be able to apply for funding support from Auckland Council.

The council’s annual Regional Historic Heritage Grant aims to encourage best practice and community involvement in the care of Auckland’s regionally significant heritage places. Applications for this year’s funding round are opening on 9 March until 17 April 2020.

Councillor Chris Darby, Planning Committee Chair, says: “Around 68 per cent of our heritage sites and places are cared for by private landowners who shoulder the costs of persevering this heritage for all Aucklanders.

“The council’s heritage grant is a key mechanism for unlocking this private and community investment in heritage conservation. It provides an important contribution towards preserving a sense of history and pride in our communities and creating a legacy to pass on to future generations.

“The programme captures a variety of projects, including the conservation of graves in regionally significant cemeteries, maintaining significant heritage buildings and projects that contribute towards kaitiakitanga of Māori cultural heritage.”

Preserving Māori Hall

One of the recent beneficiaries of the grant is the Māori Hall in Edinburgh Street, off Auckland’s Karangahape Road, a category B historic heritage place in the Auckland Unitary Plan and a place of Māori interest or significance.

Built in 1909, Māori Hall was initially a meeting place for forestry workers and then a hat factory. In the 1930s it was turned into a community centre for Māori living in the inner city. Since the 1970s, it has been used mainly as a Sunday school and crèche.

After 110 years serving Aucklanders, it is planned to restore Māori Hall to its original state for use as a valued central centre community asset for youth and community development with a focus on Māori and Pasifika.

To support this restoration effort Auckland Council made a $12,400 contribution to the costs of a Detailed Seismic Assessment required for the seismic strengthening of Māori Hall through the Regional Historic Heritage Grant.

Last year, a commitment was made by Auckland Council to increase the Regional Historic Grants Programme budget and applicants can expect to see more projects funded in the 2020 round due to this change. The Council is especially keen to see more projects that achieve Māori outcomes.

How to apply

The heritage fund is open to individuals, community groups, businesses, iwi/Māori organisations, educational institutions and other community-based organisations operating in the Auckland region.

Applicants can request up to $20,000 as a contribution towards the care of a regionally significant heritage site or place. This year’s funding priorities include at-risk historic heritage places, conservation of regionally significant historic heritage places, heritage and character in town centres and supporting kaitiakitanga of Māori cultural heritage

More information about the Regional Historic Heritage Grants Programme, as well as a link to apply once the round is open, can be found here.

If applicants require any assistance throughout the application process, support is available from the council’s Grants and Incentives Team by email: communityfunding@aucklandcouncil.govt.nz

MIL OSI